We moved into our house in early October, 1999. We'd spent almost a year in an apartment, without a dog. I desperately missed having a dog, so shortly after we moved in, we went to the shelter to see what we could find. We didn't find anything. About 2 weeks later, some feeling came over me that I couldn't explain. My husband was on the roof, cleaning gutters and I told him to come down, there was a dog at the shelter who needed us. I was certain that we would find one. And we did! Barclay came to live with us the next day. He was an adult dog, about 5-7 years old and had the sweetest disposition.
Barclay has been a wonderful friend and companion for the last 7 years. But now we're in a difficult spot. In the past few years he has had several cancerous and precancerous tumors removed. A few weeks ago, he started losing a lot of weight. We gave him canned food (they'd always had dry) and he put a few pounds back on. In the last week he has started coughing, has horrible breath and has bled from his mouth a few times. On Sunday, I opened his mouth to see if he had something caught in his throat and found a large tumor in his mouth. It obstructs his breathing when he lays down and he's exhausted from trying to breathe. He's making horrible noises as well. At his age, which is now 12-14 years old, I just don't want to put him through another surgery as our vet will encourage us to, then chemo or radiation. I don't want him to suffer. So, when do you make the decision to put him down? It's so hard to watch him like he is, although he doesn't seem to be in pain. I've been in contact with the shelter and they will take him any time to put him to sleep.
In my head I know that the right decision for him is to let him die gracefully...but my heart says it's not ready to let go. I'm sure the decision will be made by the end of the week, DH is away until Friday and I'm not sure I can bring him to the shelter by myself.
1. Seven wonderful years with Barclay
2. The love of a good pet
3. Support of friends at the shelter
4. Technology that allows us to give our pets peace...even if it's hard to make the decision.